New Delhi: On the 3rd day of the Pro Wrestling League season 2, Haryana Hammers continued their winning run as they prevailed over a power-packed UP Dangal side 5-2 at the KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium here today.
It was Haryana who won the toss and blocked the 74 kg Men’s category which saw UP Captain Elitsa Yankova block the 58 kg Women’s category, ruling out the bout between Haryana’s Marwa Amri and UP’s Geeta Phogat.
Haryana started the day impressively as Magomed Kurbanaliev registered an 8-0 scoreline against UP’s Amit Dhankar in the 70 kg Men’s Category. It was a battle of Amit’s defense versus Magomed’s aggression, experience and superior technique.
In the next battle was UP Captain and 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist Elitsa Yankova and Haryana grappler Indu Chaudhary. Both wrestlers went neck-to-neck to showcase their mettle on the mat. Although the scoreline was tied at 1-1 after two rounds, UP’s Elitsa won the 48 kg Women’s bout by virtue of last point Win.
In the third bout, Haryana Hammers wrestler Rajneesh stunned UP Dangal’s Andrey Kviatkovski by registering a comprehensive 5-1 win. Rajneesh used attacking single leg holds to good effect, while keeping his defence strong, and giving no opportunity to the Ukrainian to make a comeback in the 65 kg Men’s category.
Olympian Yogeshwar Dutt supported the professional wrestling competition from the commentary box. He couldn’t be a part of the ongoing season.
In the fourth bout, UP drew level as Belarus-born 2016 Olympics Silver medalist Maria Mamashuk overpowered Haryana’s Kiran to win the 75 kg Women’s contest 6-4. Although Kiran surprised Maria with her agility and aggression in the first round, the latter staged a remarkable comeback in the next round, scoring points in quick succession. Maria eventually prevailed in the duel, as Kiran went down fighting valiantly.
The fifth bout of 97 kg Men’s category was fought between UP’s Mausam Khatri and Haryana captain Abdusalam Gadisov, with the latter winning the fifth bout 8-0 comfortably.
UP Dangal, who depend a lot on Phogat sisters, got a major shock as Haryana’s Sofia Mattsson gave Babita no chance to put up a fight in the 53 kg Women’s category as Haryana gained an unassailable 4-2 lead.
Speaking post her win against the ace grappler, she said, “I am very happy with the way I won the fight today but ya I did not expect it to wrap up that quick.”
Haryana Hammers gave finishing touches to the game by finishing the final bout with yet another 8-0 win. Sandeep Tomar was too powerful for Amit Kumar Dahiya of UP Dangal as Haryana went on to win the tie 5-2.
Speaking post the team win & his remarkable victory over Andrey Kviatkovski, Haryana’s Rajneesh said, “I am very happy and content with the way I performed today.”
Speaking post the win, Haryana captain Abdusalam Gadisov said, “All teams have amazing wrestlers but I feel proud to be leading such a strong contender in the league. With the kind of performances the team has been giving I am sure of taking back home the trophy of PWL.”
Post the victory, Sandeep Tomar commented, “The fight was tough but I did not go with any pressure on the mat. All I had in my mind was to give my 100% and win the bout for my team.”
Haryana’s Indu Chaudhary also expressed her thoughts on being defeated by Elitsa Yankova, “I got stuck at a moment and believe that was the game changer. I could not cover up after that. I realise my mistake and am sure of a comeback in my next game,” she said.”